He Has Incentive

Sharp-eyed Eric Muller notices something strange:

A Full and Appropriately Speedy Recovery

I wish Chief Justice Rehnquist a full and speedy recovery.

On the subject of “speedy,” though, I find it curious that the Court is already telling us that he'll be back at work next Monday, about 8 days after his tracheotomy. Not only is it hard to imagine how anyone could know how the Chief will actually be feeling by next Monday, but the ordinary recovery period for a case without special risk factors or complications is two weeks. And there are reasons to suspect that the Chief's is not an entirely ordinary case. Plus he's 80 years old.

Odd, that.

4-4 on 11-02-04?

Not if this Chief can help it. Then-Justice Rehnquist, it may be recalled, was the author of an opinion, Laird, Secretary of Defense v. Tatum, 409 U.S. 824, 837 (1972) (Rehnquist, J., mem.), explaining his non-recusal despite his personal involvement in some of the matters at issue, on the grounds that Justices should be less willing to recuse themselves on the grounds of conflict of interest if the case is really important — precisely the sort of cases where others might ordinarily think recusal was most called for….

At least his doctors may be pleased that their patient has a powerful incentive to get better quickly.

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